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Key Developments Concerning Iraq

February 1, 2003

Developments in the Iraq crisis:

_ The two chief U.N. weapons inspectors agreed to return to Baghdad for talks on the search for hidden weapons, Iraqi and U.N. officials said Saturday. There was no indication Iraq made any commitment on U.N. demands for reconnaissance flights and secret interviews with Iraqi scientists.

_ British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he and President Bush hoped to win United Nations support for any military action against Iraq, but stressed that they do not want to see debate delay action ``for months and months and months.″

_ The Baghdad newspaper Babil, owned by Saddam Hussein’s son Odai, attacked Blair for his meeting with Bush on Friday. An editorial said Blair is acting like the ``U.S. foreign secretary″ in supporting American war plans.

_ U.N. weapons inspectors checked the biology department at Baghdad University and revisited a missile fuel plant and a factory that develops missile guidance systems. At the university, about 150 students protested with placards reading ``Bush Is A Killer,″ ``We Want Peace,″ and ``No Blood For Oil.″

_ Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan says Iraq will unleash thousands of suicide attackers against the United States if American troops invade, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

_ The Kurdish administration of northern Iraq said it fears being flooded with refugees from Baghdad-controlled territory if there is a war. It said it doesn’t have the money to provide shelter and appealed for aid groups to provide emergency supplies.

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